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Kelly takes reins of 6th Operations Group

by Senior Airman Stephanie Witty
Thunderbolt staff writer

The 6th Operations Group exchanged leaders Tuesday as Col. Brian T. Kelly assumed command from Col. Robert C. Kane during a change-of-command ceremony in Hangar 3.

Colonel Kelly comes here from Robins Air Force Base, Ga., where he served as the 19th Air Refueling Group deputy commander. There he was in charge of providing rapidly deployable worldwide air refueling and airlift capabilities and also supporting all active duty Air Mobility Command C-5 wings by providing integrated field-level inspections and field maintenance while command aircraft are undergoing air logistic center depot repairs.

At MacDill he will be responsible for all operational aspects of the group in support of the 6th Air Mobility Wing and the wing's support of worldwide tanker and airlift operations. He will also be responsible for airfield use, including tower and ground-control services, flight-plan processing, weather forecasting and advisories.

Colonel Kane will be moving on to Ramstein AB, Germany, where he will be the 86th Airlift Wing vice commander. In a speech during the change-of-command ceremony, Col. Tanker Snyder, 6th AMW commander, spoke of the outstanding capabilities of the 6th OG and the importance of its role here at MacDill and in the Air Force.

"The 6th Operations Group is a key component to what makes MacDill AFB one of the premier military bases in the world, with a proven record of performance and a legacy of incredible achievement," said Colonel Snyder.

Colonel Kelly said he is very excited about taking over the group.

"Any command is an honor," he said. "But to command a superb flying group with an important mission in a beautiful location is more than I could have asked for."

He has visons and goals he would like to accomplish while here, but will first get to know the group, wing and base.

"The group has been working very hard over the past years, and has done a tremendous job under difficult circumstances,"

Colonel Kelly added. "We simply need to continue that performance. Our general goal is to safely provide world-class airlift and air refueling for our country, and take good care of the people who do that."

Colonel Snyder expressed his confidence in Colonel Kelly's performance and leadership capabilities.

"I have no doubts Col. Brian Kelly will continue to build on the foundation of excellence laid by Colonel Kane and his incredible team," said Colonel Snyder. "His education and experience have perfectly prepared him for this job, as he will bring a wealth of experience to the 6th Air Mobility Wing."

Colonel Kelly said the wing got him off to a tremendous start at his new job.

"My family was treated like royalty when they arrived. It's clear the base understands the importance of families. I won't forget that concept."

He had kind words for the outgoing commander, Col. Rob Kane who he said handed over a great group and really worked to take care of the people in it.

"I will do my best to do the same, and to contribute what I can to an exemplary team at MacDill," said Colonel Kelly. As with most everyone who comes to MacDill, Colonel Kelly had heard about the support the community gives and he said in his short time here, he has already seen it.

"It would be hard not to enjoy ourselves here," he said. "I look forward to coming to work everyday, can't wait to fly with our crews and am very excited about enjoying Florida when I'm not doing the first two."





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